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View Full Version : I'm sick of indie quirk


Supermallet
06-28-09, 12:07 PM
It seems that these days, the only way an indie film gets recognized is if it's quirky or kooky in some way. Fox seems really good at pushing these products, whether it's Napoleon Dynamite, Juno, or Little Miss Sunshine, they've all got something about them that says "We're just left of center enough to be different, but not so far out there to actually alienate anyone in the mainstream."

The latest offender is Paper Heart. The film isn't out yet, but just from the poster I can tell it's just chock full o'quirk. The poster has a chipmunk-faced girl (Charlyne Yi) who has this look on her face that says "I'm so silly and funny in a disarmingly cute way!" It also stars Michael Cera, who is the king of quirky indie comedies. His presence in any less than mainstream comedy ensures there will be awkward pauses and two people who normally should be able to communicate with each other looking at each other through their peripheral vision and speaking in broken sentences.

What happened to indie movies that actually took chances? Sex, Lies, and Videotape springs to mind. When did it become fashionable to watch perpetual adolescents trying and failing to act like adults? Why is there a market for this crap?

RichC2
06-28-09, 12:23 PM
It seems that these days, the only way an indie film gets recognized is if it's quirky or kooky in some way. Fox seems really good at pushing these products, whether it's Napoleon Dynamite, Juno, or Little Miss Sunshine, they've all got something about them that says "We're just left of center enough to be different, but not so far out there to actually alienate anyone in the mainstream."

The latest offender is Paper Heart. The film isn't out yet, but just from the poster I can tell it's just chock full o'quirk. The poster has a chipmunk-faced girl (Charlyne Yi) who has this look on her face that says "I'm so silly and funny in a disarmingly cute way!" It also stars Michael Cera, who is the king of quirky indie comedies. His presence in any less than mainstream comedy ensures there will be awkward pauses and two people who normally should be able to communicate with each other looking at each other through their peripheral vision and speaking in broken sentences.

What happened to indie movies that actually took chances? Sex, Lies, and Videotape springs to mind. When did it become fashionable to watch perpetual adolescents trying and failing to act like adults? Why is there a market for this crap?

Because it's entertaining and it sells, but then I liked Juno (well kind of) and Little Miss Sunshine and (in ref to another thread :)) thought Crouching Tiger kicked ass too so maybe I just eat what's fed to me. And the market comes from having life issues sugar coated so it's easier to digest, a lot of folks don't want to go out on a friday night and see a dead serious movie.

To note, the winner of this years Sundance (as much of a winner as there can be) was the ridiculously serious Precious (aka Push).

Supermallet
06-28-09, 12:26 PM
I know what thread you're referring to, but I dislike Crouching Tiger for a whole set of other reasons. I would never say it had indie quirk. :)

RichC2
06-28-09, 12:28 PM
I know, I was being random. It's a quirk.

Supermallet
06-28-09, 12:46 PM
http://www.tmonews.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2009/05/i-see-what-you-did-there.jpg

Drexl
06-28-09, 12:53 PM
I just had a horrible vision of "Quirky Movie" by Friedberg and Seltzer, in which a pregnant teen gives birth to Little Miss Sunshine, while riding the Darjeeling Limited.

Supermallet
06-28-09, 12:55 PM
Actually, I think Wes Anderson may have been the one to popularize, if not start the trend, but I love his movies. Go figure.

Hokeyboy
06-28-09, 12:58 PM
Can we collectively, as a society, offer up Michael Cera as a ritual sacrifice so nobody ever has to watch him stutter and stammer ackwardly through YET ANOTHER overblown indie drama-dy?

I'll never understand why people buy into this putz. Unless they were ruthlessly picked on in high school and never fought back lol.

PopcornTreeCt
06-28-09, 01:02 PM
I like these kind of movies. There are far worse offenders of cliche. I mean:

I'm sick of torture porn.
I'm sick of Oscar-baiting dramas.
I'm sick of big brainless summer blockbusters.

I like indie quirk. I could do without Michael Cera but I always be there in line to see indie quirk.

Sessa17
06-28-09, 01:07 PM
It seems that these days, the only way an indie film gets recognized is if it's quirky or kooky in some way.

What happened to indie movies that actually took chances? Sex, Lies, and Videotape springs to mind. When did it become fashionable to watch perpetual adolescents trying and failing to act like adults? Why is there a market for this crap?

I have no clue what you are complaining about. If you don't like these movies don't see them. I don't understand why Tom Hanks & Will Smith are entertaining, so I don't see films with them in it, but I know they are popular so I'm not going claim false premises like you did above. Saying the only way indie films get recognized is if it's quirky just makes no sense. Frozen River was nominated for an Oscar last year, surely that is recognition (whether you like the Oscars or not is irrelevant to the point) & the film is far from quirky. Gomorrah is one of the best films I've seen in the past 2 years, it's an extreme, Italian-indie movie that definitely takes chances & also has received tons of buzz. Let The Right One In I mean, who hasn't heard of this by now, a foreign, indie-movie with no major distributor when it initially was made & it was by far IMO the best film of last year. I can go on & on. I understand the hate for the Juno-esque genre of late, but to claim that this is the only way an indie-film gets buzz or that movies don't take chances anymore is just flat out false.

And for all the people here drooling over Public Enemies, & Hairy Potter, & Transformers, all movies I find far more cliched & bromide, I'm one-thousand times more excited for 500 Days of Summer this Summer, which IMO is way more refreshing then all this mindless summer compost.

Hokeyboy
06-28-09, 01:09 PM
I think he's rallying against the overt commoditization of independent films lately (especially in the marketing of said product), but I understand what Sessa's talking about too.

kurupt
06-28-09, 01:10 PM
Actually, I think Wes Anderson may have been the one to popularize, if not start the trend, but I love his movies. Go figure.

While I generally like Wes Anderson films, I think his well is starting to run dry. I agree with the nuveau-indie contrived quirk sentiment though. All of the films you cited played very well for me on the first run, but none (other than Napolean Dynamite which I've only seen twice and liked both times) have held up well at all under repeated viewings. It's gotten to the point that I get angry when I'm flipping channels and catch a part of the "I'm-so-indie-cool-and-quirky-I-have-a-hamburger-phone" dialogue of Juno.

Michael Cera, on the other hand, is a master of his trade. His trade might be very limited (the stammering, nervous kid), but it works for me. I might be biased, though, because every character he plays is basically an extension of his Arrested Development character, and I'm a huge fan of the show.

foofighters7
06-28-09, 01:19 PM
Mallet- I know you know there are still Independent films out there that are pushing bounderies and not trying to be, as you put it "just left of center".

Napoleon did well and deservedly so I say. What was like it before?

Juno did well and I think it deserved most of it, just not quite all the hype.

Yes, when I saw the trailer for Paper Heart I thought "wow, Cera likes making these type of movies, basically playing a similar character (see also Nick & Nora).

Little Miss Sunshine though, I dont see how you lump it in with these others? Seems like it doesnt really fit with the others even. Yes it was an quasi-Independent film and did well but I think it falls well outside the quirk of the likes of Napoleon, Paper Heart, etc.

I love Independent films, foreign, etc. But I would hardly call Napoleon, Juno, Little Miss Sunshine crap. I think that is ridiculous statement. You speak of films taking chances. I think Napoleon Dynamite would be considered a "taking a chance" film.
By the way, SLAV was hated by many when it came out even by people who liked Independent cinema. I for one like it but do not see a huge 'taking a chance film'.

I certainly understand the dislike of films mimicking other popular films. This goes for any genre, including 'quirky Independent-like films.
Having said that, I hardly think Napoleon, LMS, and Juno could really be accused of this.

I love all types of film, and although I'm not sure If I will see Paper Heart, (I might), I will at least await Michael Cera in the Arrested Development movie!

Supermallet
06-28-09, 01:26 PM
You guys are right, I'm not saying every indie film has become this way, but these types of films have become so desired by studios that we are seeing more of them, and the marketing for them is far more expansive and pervasive than before. I stopped bothering to watch these movies, but working at a theater, I can't avoid the marketing for them.

Napoleon Dynamite seemed like it was just designed to sell t-shirts at Hot Topic. Juno was disappointing on a first viewing, and then the incessant hype became complete overkill and actually made me hate the movie.

maxfisher
06-28-09, 01:28 PM
I guess Anderson probably is a big influence in the whole quirky indie dramedy movement, but I enjoy his films and think they feel a lot more authentic most others. I usually think more of Garden State as kicking the trend off. It's just about turned into it's own genre at this point and it grates on me as well. I hated Juno. Napolean Dynamite was a couple of funny scenes planted amidst a wannabe SNL sketch idea stretched out to feature length. Little Miss Sunshine was alright, but far overpraised. IMO, the thing that makes these movies so irritating is that they constantly feel like everyone involved is trying to impress the audience with how clever they are. From the posters to the previews to the soundtracks to the scripts, they feel more concerned about validation and ego-stroking than telling worthwhile or entertaining story.

Sessa17
06-28-09, 01:38 PM
You guys are right, I'm not saying every indie film has become this way, but these types of films have become so desired by studios that we are seeing more of them, and the marketing for them is far more expansive and pervasive than before. I stopped bothering to watch these movies, but working at a theater, I can't avoid the marketing for them.

Napoleon Dynamite seemed like it was just designed to sell t-shirts at Hot Topic. Juno was disappointing on a first viewing, and then the incessant hype became complete overkill and actually made me hate the movie.

I agree w/ you 100% about Napoleon Dynamite, a puppy dying of cancer is funnier than that movie & Juno makes me want to kill kittens. But I loved Garden State, & I think 500 Days of Summer looks great as well, so like any genre there are good films & overhyped films. The bottom line with this "young-quirky-genre" for lack of a better term, is money, like anything else in movies. These movies cost nothing to make, & they have a young built in audience, so the studios are going to crank them out.

Your first post just made a bold statement that is just entirely unfair & untrue. The beauty of indie films is just that, they are indie, often you have to seek out the good ones & not wait for what a movie poster or what Entertainment weekly deems worthy for you to see, "quirky" is not the only way for an indie film to get buzz & there have been a ton of recent independent movies that have had huge success without being in this genre.

Kurtie Dee
06-28-09, 02:00 PM
When did it become fashionable to watch perpetual adolescents trying and failing to act like adults? Why is there a market for this crap?

This happened when our culture became overrun by perpetual adolescents. The difference is, in real life most don't try to act like adults anymore. That's where indie movies come in - to try and knock some sense into all the 20-something kids out there ...


;)

Drexl
06-28-09, 02:01 PM
Michael Cera, on the other hand, is a master of his trade. His trade might be very limited (the stammering, nervous kid), but it works for me. I might be biased, though, because every character he plays is basically an extension of his Arrested Development character, and I'm a huge fan of the show.

That's why we can't offer him up for ritual sacrifice. We need him for the AD movie and a sequel that could happen if it's successful enough.

Supermallet
06-28-09, 02:01 PM
I agree w/ you 100% about Napoleon Dynamite, a puppy dying of cancer is funnier than that movie & Juno makes me want to kill kittens. But I loved Garden State, & I think 500 Days of Summer looks great as well, so like any genre there are good films & overhyped films.

Garden State made me want to pulverize myself with a frying pan. I'm in love with Zooey Deschanel, though, so 500 Days of Summer might be up my alley. ;)

foofighters7
06-28-09, 02:04 PM
Napoleon always polarizes people. I for one loved it. Thought it was great. I know many who hated it, many who loved it.

But whether or not you liked it, when you speak about Independent films, it was an Actual Independent film which only got picked up at Sundance, so you may not like it, but you cannot accuse it of being made by 'the man' to sell shirts. (you can blame the companies who picked it up and marketed it the way they did, but not the film or its makers).

I did really like Garden State too, thought it was smart, funny, well written and had Portman... so ya know..not bad at all.

calhoun07
06-28-09, 02:58 PM
I still love Napoleon even after all the time it's been out. It's got a dry sense of humor to it that is so wonderfully understated.

But I did think Juno was overhyped and Nick and Norah really wasn't anything special at all. And then there was Charlie Bartlett and most recently Harold...
http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/61i2LFBN-LL._SL160_AA115_.jpg

And that's when it hit me...I have really come to HATE the indie comedies that have that Napoleon Dynamite-style note book doodlings on the cover. It's like they are all trying desperately to be the next Napoleon Dynamite and appeal to the audience who liked that movie by putting that stuff on their cover. And it's beginning to get tired, and old.

Supermallet
06-28-09, 03:20 PM
Napoleon always polarizes people. I for one loved it. Thought it was great. I know many who hated it, many who loved it.

But whether or not you liked it, when you speak about Independent films, it was an Actual Independent film which only got picked up at Sundance, so you may not like it, but you cannot accuse it of being made by 'the man' to sell shirts. (you can blame the companies who picked it up and marketed it the way they did, but not the film or its makers).

Sure, it was independently made with obnoxious, quirky slogans that were easy to mass market to people who thought they were being oh so counter culture by buying into it.

I did really like Garden State too, thought it was smart, funny, well written and had Portman... so ya know..not bad at all.

We must have seen different movies, then, because the one I saw was leaden, desperately trying and failing to find a voice, although the one I saw did also have Natalie Portman.

Drexl
06-28-09, 03:32 PM
We must have seen different movies, then, because the one I saw was leaden, desperately trying and failing to find a voice, although the one I saw did also have Natalie Portman.

That one was called "Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace."

tylergfoster
06-28-09, 03:42 PM
Word of mouth on Paper Heart is actually really, really good, it sounds like while the advertising might play up the quirk, the actual movie has substance.

I'm more worried about (500) Days of Summer and I didn't make an effort to see Away We Go on the basis of overquirkiness.

I'm also worried about (500) Days of Summer because it's by Fox Searchlight, those responsible for Garden State, Napoleon Dynamite, Juno and Little Miss Sunshine. If there's anyone to blame for indie quirk, it's definitely them -- they turned it into a cash cow, and then even Oscar bait.

And I like Zooey Deschanel too, but if there was a court of quirkiness, she'd get subpoenaed.And for all the people here drooling over Public Enemies, & Hairy Potter, & Transformers, all movies I find far more cliched & bromide, I'm one-thousand times more excited for 500 Days of Summer this Summer, which IMO is way more refreshing then all this mindless summer compost.You're gonna lump a Michael Mann film in with a Michael Bay film? And what's Hairy Potter? Sounds distressing.

Supermallet
06-28-09, 03:43 PM
Oh yeah, Alison Janey seems to be quickly becoming a staple of these as well.

tylergfoster
06-28-09, 03:48 PM
Oh yeah, Alison Janey seems to be quickly becoming a staple of these as well.In her defense, she's been doing these since before there was a problem.

Rockmjd23
06-28-09, 03:56 PM
Over-quirk has invaded television as well.

Ash Ketchum
06-28-09, 04:04 PM
Because of my job, I recently had to watch eight foreign indie films from as many different countries (Belgium, Germany, Chad, Mexico, Iran, France, Russia and some Kurd place). Only one was deliberately quirky--and could probably succeed here with its outrageous politically incorrect humor (the two lead characters are in wheelchairs and are big pains-in-the-asses to everyone they meet on their "road trip"). The others were all deadly dull and dealing with the problems of poor slobs in those countries who just didn't interest me. Talk, talk, talk, trudge through the landscape, trudge, trudge, trudge...who cares? I mean, I grew up in an era when indie films still looked and behaved like, y'know, movies? I'm talking about things like Robert Downey's PUTNEY SWOPE (1969), John Avildsen's JOE (1970), and Melvin Van Peebles' SWEET SWEETBACK'S BADASS SONG (1971). Anyone remember those? They weren't boring. If JOE was about "ordinary people," they were still a bit larger than life. (I believe that JOE's title character was the inspiration for Archie Bunker.)

You know what was a big indie hit a few years after those? John Carpenter's ASSAULT ON PRECINCT 13! Not an ounce of "quirk" on the screen. Of course the indie filmmakers of yore got coopted by Hollywood and got replaced by all these mealy-mouthed types who are making the JUNO's and LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE's of today.

starman9000
06-28-09, 04:07 PM
I like them. :) Didn't someone come up with some weird name to cry about them a while back like mumblecore or something?

Nevermind, I guess Mumlecore is a different, but I heard it used derisively.

Sessa17
06-28-09, 04:08 PM
But I did think Juno was overhyped and Nick and Norah really wasn't anything special at all.

Nick & Norah has been mentioned a couple of times in this thread. It is not an independent movie.

starman9000
06-28-09, 04:14 PM
Nick & Norah has been mentioned a couple of times in this thread. It is not an independent movie.

I think it's because people are using "indie" as a genre now. Sort of like how "indie" music doesn't really have anything to do with record labels anymore, it's a sound.

tylergfoster
06-28-09, 04:29 PM
I think it's because people are using "indie" as a genre now. Sort of like how "indie" music doesn't really have anything to do with record labels anymore, it's a sound.I hate this idea so much. Every time someone sends me a song with the genre marked "indie" I change it to something else.

If we're going to discount Nick and Norah, technically you should discount Little Miss Sunshine too. That movie cost $10m and had studio backing, not to mention a host of stars.

Sessa17
06-28-09, 04:31 PM
.You're gonna lump a Michael Mann film in with a Michael Bay film? And what's Hairy Potter? Sounds distressing.

I get it that Mann is some kind of movie God here in this forum, but Miami Vice? The guy has been downhill since The Insider & I don't want to debate that, I've seen all the posts here by people stating that Public Enemies is their most anticipated film of the summer, I know I'm wrong. But that wasn't the point of picking those 3 films. I just picked 3 films that everyone here this summer has been drooling over that all look like generic Hollywood tripe to me, & my original point was that there are a few of us that are glad there are indie films & lesser known films being released even in the middle of summer. I know that very few if any will agree with me, it's just my opinion.

And I always spell Hairy Potter that way, I like to see how long it takes someone from Hogwarts to get all upset about it & correct me.

Breakfast with Girls
06-28-09, 04:48 PM
And I always spell Hairy Potter that way, I like to see how long it takes someone from Hogwarts to get all upset about it & correct me.Yeah, that's funny in the same way the Zodiac Killer thought misspelling stuff was funny.

The Bus
06-28-09, 05:09 PM
People will support quirky indie movies. People will not support stuff like Ballast or Wendy and Lucy.

Shit, the former doesn't even have a DVD release yet.

Dr Mabuse
06-28-09, 05:15 PM
Independent films are still alive and well, and doing great films.

'In Bruges' and 'Let the right One In' are more than proof of that. There are plenty of other examples even in the last few years.

That said the "we're quirky for the sake of being quirky" does get to be a bit much.

dugan
06-28-09, 05:28 PM
You're talking about indie films that get major studio distribution, right?

I think that's a biased sample.

I recently bought a DVD of this very new indie film:
http://www.apple.com/trailers/independent/aprilshowers/

tylergfoster
06-28-09, 06:47 PM
I get it that Mann is some kind of movie God here in this forum, but Miami Vice? The guy has been downhill since The Insider & I don't want to debate that, I've seen all the posts here by people stating that Public Enemies is their most anticipated film of the summer, I know I'm wrong. But that wasn't the point of picking those 3 films. I just picked 3 films that everyone here this summer has been drooling over that all look like generic Hollywood tripe to me, & my original point was that there are a few of us that are glad there are indie films & lesser known films being released even in the middle of summer. I know that very few if any will agree with me, it's just my opinion.

And I always spell Hairy Potter that way, I like to see how long it takes someone from Hogwarts to get all upset about it & correct me.I am neither a Mann obsessive or a Harry Potter fan, I was just saying, as a general rule, Mann's movies are likely to be better than Bay's, and I just thought "Hairy" Potter was funny.

lamphorn
06-28-09, 07:49 PM
It seems that these days, the only way an indie film gets recognized is if it's quirky or kooky in some way. Fox seems really good at pushing these products, whether it's Napoleon Dynamite, Juno, or Little Miss Sunshine, they've all got something about them that says "We're just left of center enough to be different, but not so far out there to actually alienate anyone in the mainstream."

The latest offender is Paper Heart. The film isn't out yet, but just from the poster I can tell it's just chock full o'quirk. The poster has a chipmunk-faced girl (Charlyne Yi) who has this look on her face that says "I'm so silly and funny in a disarmingly cute way!" It also stars Michael Cera, who is the king of quirky indie comedies. His presence in any less than mainstream comedy ensures there will be awkward pauses and two people who normally should be able to communicate with each other looking at each other through their peripheral vision and speaking in broken sentences.

What happened to indie movies that actually took chances? Sex, Lies, and Videotape springs to mind. When did it become fashionable to watch perpetual adolescents trying and failing to act like adults? Why is there a market for this crap?
Well, because they're not independent films. There was a brief sliver of time where someone could make a film with very little money and no stars, but if it was any good there was a chance it would be distributed and seen. I don't think that exists anymore. The studios put out movies that sort of copy the "quirk" from actual indie films from 15 years ago and of course the result is watered-down gutless sitcoms.

To put it in some perspective, Pulp Fiction (which I love) is a 30 million dollar Disney film with several A-list stars and it's popularly considered the epitome of independent film. That's how nearly non-existent independent film actually is.

Saying Juno is edgy is like saying David Faustino is a legit gangsta rapper.

FTase
06-28-09, 08:01 PM
Saying Juno is edgy is like saying David Faustino is a legit gangsta rapper.

Dude, Gran Master B is the real deal :)

Drexl
06-28-09, 08:08 PM
I thought Pulp Fiction cost $8 million to make. Or is that $30 million in today's dollars?

RichC2
06-28-09, 09:12 PM
It's $11.8m in today's dollars.

Hokeyboy
06-28-09, 11:36 PM
To put it in some perspective, Pulp Fiction (which I love) is a 30 million dollar Disney film with several A-list stars and it's popularly considered the epitome of independent film.
You're insane. -ohbfrank-
Saying Juno is edgy is like saying David Faustino is a legit gangsta rapper.
You're forgiven. :lol:

Matthew Chmiel
06-29-09, 12:33 AM
To clear up some topics:

Little Miss Sunshine cost $8 million to make. Fox Searchlight purchased it for $10.5 million at Sundance. Rule of thumb: Fox Searchlight rarely produces films in-house unless your name is Danny Boyle.

Pulp Fiction cost $8.5 million to make and was financed by Miramax/Disney themselves.

atlantamoi
06-29-09, 05:33 AM
I'm not really sick of quirk, but I am tired of the quirky family. It's almost an immediate turn off now.

Superboy
06-29-09, 06:43 AM
I have no clue what you are complaining about.

...I can go on & on. I understand the hate for the Juno-esque genre of late, but to claim that this is the only way an indie-film gets buzz or that movies don't take chances anymore is just flat out false.

And for all the people here drooling over Public Enemies, & Hairy Potter, & Transformers, all movies I find far more cliched & bromide, I'm one-thousand times more excited for 500 Days of Summer this Summer, which IMO is way more refreshing then all this mindless summer compost.

His point wasn't that there isn't a quality stream of movies coming out, or indy movies, or movies that cater to different tastes than the average moviegoer or summer blockbuster, but simply that there is now a slew of movies coming out with a "manufactured" feel to them that attempts to convey an "indy" feel without having any real substance or entertainment value.

Happens quite frequently. After the success of Reservoir Dogs and Pulp Fiction there were a ton of copycat indy-esque crime dramas that came out (their budgets betrayed their production values), with none of the wit or intelligence of Tarantino's movies.

Again, he is not saying he doesn't enjoy indy movies. or that there is a lack of good indy movies. Merely that more copycat movies are becoming tiresome. But that's always been a problem in the movie industry.

Groucho
06-29-09, 07:06 AM
What we really need are more quirky indie movies about pregnancy.

creekdipper
06-29-09, 07:23 AM
I think both Sessa & Mallet make good points & probably agree on the major issue of wanting GOOD movies regardless of whether they are "indies" or studio-produced fare.

To me, Mallet was just saying the same as Doc Mabuse: They (and lots of us) are tired of films that are "quirky for the sake of being quirky"...the exact phrase that was in my mind while reading through this thread.

Sessa seems to take umbrage of painting all indies with a wide, negative brush stroke...which I don't think Mallet was doing. Like Sessa, all of us want to see original stories told in creative ways. In that regard, we can be thankful that indie producers/directors do exist who will take chances.

I thought "Miss Sunshine" was WAY overrated & far too predictable. I loved "Lars & the Real Girl"...it had an original groove & solid story that I enjoy (although some may have thought it predictable). Just a matter of taste, I guess.

It's nice to see a balance. The occasional multi-million dollar blockbuster can be just as enjoyable on a different level. In a perfect world, indie films would have the same production values as studio films, while the latter would take more risks & show more originality. Guess it's harder to take risks when huge $ (and entire careers) are at stake. Just ask Michael Cimino.

Like atlantamoi, I am really sick of the "quirky family" genre. To me, the most original thing for an indie film to do right now would be to show a FUNCTIONAL family. Heck, if they wanted to really be daring, they might even show them going to church (Lars did). To me, the genre has grown so stale that you can spot the stereotypes a mile away. Don't know if the writers/directors include all the quirks because it's cache right now, don't know how to create interesting conflicts (without screaming over the dinner table), or are simply drawing from their personal experiences...but it's grown old.

Being redundant, it's all a matter of taste. I loved Life Equatic, liked Wristcutters, found S. Darko completely forgettable. Couldn't stand "I [heart] Huckabees". Loved Napoleon Dynamite. I can understand the aversion to 'quirkiness' that seems forced as if it's a requisite for any independent film. Also the "smart" dialogue, it works in films such as Juno but gets old quickly when others want to copy earlier successes by having the characters talk in rapid-fire punchlines. A few people do that in real life, but not many.

I like indie films that aren't constrained by suits looming overhead or focus groups to decide endings or pressure on writers to leave things open for sequels. Films such as "The Hired Hand" or "Near Dark", for instance...or the entire genre of "cult classics" that depart from the mainstream simply because they want to tell a good story in the best way possible without trying to impress the audience with the "hipness" or cleverness of the filmmakers.

At least, I think that's what Mallet was saying, and I don't think Sessa would disagree at all.

Can't we all just get along? -wink-

creekdipper
06-29-09, 07:28 AM
What we really need are more quirky indie movies about pregnancy.


You mean like "Junior"?

Sessa17
06-29-09, 04:40 PM
IAt least, I think that's what Mallet was saying, and I don't think Sessa would disagree at all.

Can't we all just get along? -wink-

Mallet & I agreed on quite a bit (except for his lack of taste not liking Garden State -wink- )

But creekdipper completely misses what my contention was with the original post in this thread.

It was just these two lines by Mallet:

"the only way an indie film gets recognized is if it's quirky or kooky in some way."

&

"What happened to indie movies that actually took chances?"

The first quote he states as a fact, which isn't true, there have been serious indies in the past years that have been nominated for mainstream Oscars. And the second I was just pointing out that there are a lot of indie films made recently that very, very much take chances. But you have to sometimes seek them out, & not wait for MTV or Entertainment weekly to tell you what indie movies to see.

William Fuld
06-29-09, 04:43 PM
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Supermallet
06-29-09, 05:31 PM
Mallet & I agreed on quite a bit (except for his lack of taste not liking Garden State -wink- )

But creekdipper completely misses what my contention was with the original post in this thread.

It was just these two lines by Mallet:

"the only way an indie film gets recognized is if it's quirky or kooky in some way."

&

"What happened to indie movies that actually took chances?"

The first quote he states as a fact, which isn't true, there have been serious indies in the past years that have been nominated for mainstream Oscars. And the second I was just pointing out that there are a lot of indie films made recently that very, very much take chances. But you have to sometimes seek them out, & not wait for MTV or Entertainment weekly to tell you what indie movies to see.

Those are fair points. I really wasn't saying that there are ZERO good/non-quirky indie movies (although I don't consider foreign films like Let The Right One In to necessarily be "indie"), but was decrying the push for quirky that seems to pervade amongst higher profile indie films.

bunnydojo
06-29-09, 05:58 PM
I have to jump on the bandwagon here.

At some point there was a transition from making movies with characters who have little quirks to making movies about characters' ridiculous quirks. I can appreciate that somewhere out there might live a fifteen year old with the vocabulary of a Rhodes Scholar who drives a watermelon-shaped car and spends all day talking with like-minded friends about existentialism and the cultural implications of dragons being blue instead of green, but it gets old fast to see a half-dozen new movies every year with that.

It's just the usual waxing and waning of genres, though. One thing makes big money, studios spend the next few years making it again and again until it stops being popular. What exacerbates this particular situation is everything being promoted the same way, as in the half-photo, half-illustration, handwritten font posters, or "THIS YEAR'S JUNO!" critic's quotes.

dhmac
06-29-09, 06:44 PM
I'm in love with Zooey Deschanel, though, so 500 Days of Summer might be up my alley. ;)
Then I guarantee you'll love (500) Days of Summer. (She plays Summer, so you'll get 500 days of her in it!)

(That and it's the best movie of the year so far*)


(*IMO)

Giles
06-29-09, 06:51 PM
I'm hating the trailers with the twee indie songs - ugh talk about cliched.

Tarantino
06-29-09, 07:52 PM
Loved Napoleon Dynamite...loved Garden State...love Michael Cera. Love Wes Anderson movies.

I'm glad they're making these types of movies.

(did not like Juno or Nick & Norah at all, so maybe the genre is just getting too polluted)

= J

DRG
06-30-09, 01:31 PM
I actually like some of these movies, but I hate the way they are shoved in my face months before I even get a chance to see them. With Juno it went from being a film nobody had ever heard of to this ridiculously buzzed about thing overnight, where EW spent every issue celebrating Diablo Cody and Ellen Page as if they were the biggest stars on the planet before the movie even came out. Same thing with Napoleon Dynamite... our Hot Topic was shilling the catchphrases and quirky elements on t-shirts within weeks of the movie's limited release -- long before we actually got the movie in our area.

Superboy
06-30-09, 02:00 PM
I actually like some of these movies, but I hate the way they are shoved in my face months before I even get a chance to see them. With Juno it went from being a film nobody had ever heard of to this ridiculously buzzed about thing overnight, where EW spent every issue celebrating Diablo Cody and Ellen Page as if they were the biggest stars on the planet before the movie even came out. Same thing with Napoleon Dynamite... our Hot Topic was shilling the catchphrases and quirky elements on t-shirts within weeks of the movie's limited release -- long before we actually got the movie in our area.

You need to move to a new town.

covenant
06-30-09, 02:21 PM
I actually like some of these movies, but I hate the way they are shoved in my face months before I even get a chance to see them. With Juno it went from being a film nobody had ever heard of to this ridiculously buzzed about thing overnight, where EW spent every issue celebrating Diablo Cody and Ellen Page as if they were the biggest stars on the planet before the movie even came out. Same thing with Napoleon Dynamite... our Hot Topic was shilling the catchphrases and quirky elements on t-shirts within weeks of the movie's limited release -- long before we actually got the movie in our area.

Quit reading EW and going to Hot Topic...works for me :shrug:

Dr Mabuse
06-30-09, 02:33 PM
Films such as "The Hired Hand"

Wow, 'The Hired Hand'.

Good stuff.

DRG
06-30-09, 03:05 PM
You need to move to a new town.

Ha, I knew someone would post something like this.

Ash Ketchum
06-30-09, 05:35 PM
I'm hating the trailers with the twee indie songs - ugh talk about cliched.

Tell me what "twee" means.

And then please find a less annoying word that means the same thing.